New kid on the block, Matt Carstens, released his debut album 2D Heart in April 2017. From the get-go and throughout the whole album there is a heartwarming and soul-lifting vibe about his acoustic, singer-songwriter style that gives South Africans hope for more amazing local talent on the rise.
South-African R&B/Soul artist Mathew Gold has paved his way to success these past couple of years. His smooth voice regularly fills the radio waves and it’s especially the SAMA nominated song, Taking It Easy, with Goodluck in 2011, that made people aware of his immense talent. His second album, a self-titled release, recently hit the shelves after three years in the making. I was curious to find out how this record came about and how much has changed since Mathew’s first rise to fame.
Some bands are talented and make good music, while others have to resort to silly gimmicks in order to get attention. In which category would you guess Satanic Dagga Orgy, the “Acousticore Polk Funk” band from Joburg who loves playing shows in speedos, belong? Their new EP, The Prawn Awakens, prompted an investigation…
Taxi Violence really shouldn’t need an introduction – this Capetonian band has been making music together since 2004, and their first studio album, Untie Yourself, was released more than a decade ago, in 2006. Since then they’ve been touring up and down and played all of the major local festivals. Most recently Taxi Violence had released Tenfold to celebrate the decade of making music together. This album garnered the band’s fourth SAMA nomination, to go along with their three MK Music Awards nominations.
At the beginning of 2017, the band announced plans to release a handful of shorter EP’s throughout the year. The first of these EP’s, Shape and Form I, was released on the 13th of February, and the 3 tracks are classic Taxi Violence.
Josh Kempen sped onto my radar pretty quickly. In the last year or two, I saw him play a solo show, heard he released an EP, saw his name on all sorts of festival line-ups around the country, saw him again and again with a three-piece band, got wind that he’s signed with Warner Music, and now he’s released a debut album, The Morning Show: an intimate blend of electric guitar folk and 50’s rock ‘n roll.
Good old fashioned rock and roll
Stoker released their self-titled album recently, and it’s a good one. This Cape Town band wastes no time in making their intentions clear, as the album opens with a driving riff and catchy chorus. With sounds reminiscent of garage rock bands like the The Strokes (I think the similar names are coincidental), Franz Ferdinand, and Arctic Monkeys, the album establishes a tempo and tone within the first handful of tracks that doesn’t let up.
But, then again, I didn’t want it to, not for one second.
Francois Van Coke se nuwe album, Hierdie is Die Lewe, is intiem maar openbarend. Dis in-your-face, maar staan ook terug sodat jy die groter prentjie kan sien. Dit laat jou wonder of Van Coke dalk sy Converse ingeruil het vir pa tekkies, maar andersins, om dit in een woord op te som: passievol.
Classical composition is a tough topic in contemporary music
It seems antiquated, with composers with hard to pronounce names long gone having written music for instruments that have hard to pronounce names, and there are rarely any lyrics to speak of. On the other hand, Mozart sold more CD’s than Drake and Beyoncé in 2016 and local artist Caroline Leisegang released a new album of her own compositions, called Simple Circles.
Kobus de Kock Jr, the vocalist and frontman of The Black Cat Bones, is very rarely seen on stages where he’s not performing. 7 December 2016, at The Shadowboxer in Greenside, Johannesburg, was an exception. He explained that the band – famous for their over-the-top spirited live performances – had always found it difficult to capture the same energy in the recording studio. And that’s why Waking The Scarecrow – their first live DVD – is such an appropriate and welcome addition to The Black Cat Bones‘ discography.
I was sligthly taken aback when I first heard about MYMYMY. Is that an Afrikaans or English name? They’re a Cape Town based synth-pop duo, and their recently released debut EP title, Ons S’n Is Beter, seems to answer my question. Then I listened to the tracks, and was taken aback all over again.